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Easy Stay-at-Home Energy Efficiency Projects

By NOPEC on  April 8, 2020

Many of us are spending more time in our houses than usual because of the Stay-at-Home order Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. And while we know it’s for the greater health of our families and communities, home isolation can be overwhelming if we don’t set everyday goals and plans.

Working, teaching and socializing from indoors has increased our home energy consumption more than ever. So now is a great time to catch up on some of those easy DIY projects that can help you improve the energy efficiency of your home. Here are a few easy home projects you can do in your spare time and even with your kids, to teach them the importance of saving energy and money.

Spring Cleaning

Take advantage of the stay-at-home order by catching up on spring cleaning. As we all know, a dirty home is not an energy-efficient or healthy one. Dust, dirt and clogged filters all cause your home systems to work harder and therefore waste more energy. Simple things like cleaning your dryer filter and your refrigerator coils go a long way to increase energy efficiency in your home. So take advantage of sunny Ohio spring weather to clean up your home and improve its health and energy efficiency.

Water Heating

Did you know that insulating an older water heater can save up to 16 percent on your water heating bill? If you find that your water heater is warm to the touch, it definitely needs extra insulation. 

Most new water heaters have an R-value of at least 24, which means they are properly insulated. If your insulation needs a boost, wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket. You can find these at affordable prices online and at home improvement stores. Some energy providers even offer them to you at discounted rates. Here is a quick tutorial from the Department of Energy.

Another great way to increase the energy efficiency of your water heating is to lower the temperature on your water heater. Many manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140°. Not only can this temperature waste up to $461 a year on water heating, but it also poses a scalding hazard. Setting your water heater to 120° is a simple way to save energy and money on your next water heating bills.

Air Leaks

A typical family spends a third of its annual heating and cooling budget on air leaks. Grab your caulk and spend the afternoon filling those unintended gaps and cracks to save money on your energy bill.

Start by doing a visual and physical check of seals around your home. Inside your home, you'll want to look at your baseboards and places where your walls and ceilings come together. Outside your home, you'll want to look at windows and doors, as well as places where different building materials meet. Switches and electrical outlets can also be common areas for air leaks. Once you’ve found the leaky areas, follow this guide for the best way to seal up each type of air leak.

Phantom Loads

You may think that just because you’ve turned off your electrical devices, they are no longer drawing energy. While the main flow of electricity is curbed by turning off an electrical device, there is still something called a phantom draw or phantom load that consumes energy even when a device is in standby mode.

One way to combat phantom loads is to gather all similar components of an electrical setup (like a computer, monitor and printer) and plug them into one power strip. Then, turn that power strip off when your setup isn’t in use. This helps to cut down on your phantom load costs and save you money.

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Tags: NOPEC, Energy Efficiency, Energy Tips, Ohio
Categories: Energy Efficiency

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